Table 5. Adaptation strategy categories (based on Agrawal 2008, Gómez-Baggethun et al. 2012), with examples derived from transhumance on the Conquense Drove Road (TEK: traditional ecological knowledge).

Categories Adaptive strategy Examples of transhumance-related TEK
Mobility Temporal use of pasturelands • Dehesa use by livestock only in winter, allowing for tree regeneration (Carmona et al. 2013)
• Highland pastures use only in summer
• Redileo, i.e., to pen livestock at night in folds that are moved every three to five days in order to improve pastures and comply with the carrying capacity of the ecosystem
Flexibility in the selection of the wintering areas • Before the incorporation of women and the rest of the family to transhumance and hence the creation of social links to a certain town, shepherds chose the wintering rangelands every year depending on pasture availability and quality, and on rangelands prices
Availability of an extended and well-connected network of drove roads • Knowledge about the drove roads network protected by the State with the priority use for livestock, allowing mobility within a matrix of agricultural landscapes, urban settlements, highways, and railroads
• Logistics during transhumance trip, conflict resolution with farmers, and dealing with weather uncertainties
Diversification Institutional diversity at different scales • Combination between formal institutions such as nongovernmental organizations or local administrations, and informal institutions such as land tenure regimes, social networks of mutual support for resources management at different scales, from European to municipal
Diversity of income sources • Diversified production of meat and wool, and employment (e.g., in other agrarian activities, such as olive picking in winter, shearing in spring, or mushroom gathering by the end of the summer or early fall) among household members to cope with market uncertainties
Diverse sanitary practices • Combination of new medicines, such as vaccines, and natural remedies
• Maintenance of no technology-dependent practices and knowledge, such as the adoption of orphan lambs, herds, and pasturelands management
Diversity of social contexts • Know-how of transhumant families in different ecosystems and social contexts
Selection Well-adapted breeds • Transhumant breeds, such as the Merino sheep, adapted to long walks and climate extremes
Communal pooling Common pasturelands (summering area) • Local shepherds have the right to access common pasturelands at very low prices, what constitutes an “insurance” against increasing prices of private rangelands


Interpretation of animal behavior
• According to the herds’ behavior (e.g., nervousness, anxiously feeding, excessive quiet), livestock raisers usually know when the weather is going to change
• Seeing some wild species wandering around, such as toads moving upwards, indicating rain coming soon, and if walking downwards, indicating the absence of rain in the following days